Gadwal Sarees

Nurtured in a small town called Gadwal in Andhra Pradesh, Gadwal sarees are known for its beautiful mix of fabric and designs. The entire sari is made of cotton while its borders are designed in silk. Attributing its designs to the temples and their architecture, one can see beautiful and exotic shapes adorning the borders and body of the sari. This sari, in particular, is the reason for a tremendous growth in textile industries in Andhra Pradesh. Silk or Cotton, or a hybrid of the two defines the Gadwal sarees the best. Beautifully woven and designed saris are now manufactured to increase the production and to widen its popularity on a worldwide scale.

Origin & History

The Gadwal sarees were hand woven varieties of sari, which were the main source of livelihood for the weavers of Andhra Pradesh. Gadwal sarees were a big hit, right from the beginning. Hence, some weavers from Gadwal were sent to Benaras by the king to learn the art of weaving this particular style. The outcome was hand woven variety of Gadwal saris that became immensely popular. In the 1930s, the commercialization of Gadwal saris wherein the spinning looms and other small manual machines came into existence to help the weavers. Much later, textiles and handlooms took over the entire commercialization of Gadwal sari.

Attire & Style

Gadwal Saree is a mixture of cotton and silk, where the entire drape is completely cotton-weaved and while, the borders are of silk. The whole match up is done in such a way that one can wear these saris for any occasion. The styles in which the Gadwal saris are woven are interlocked weft borders wherein the designs are made available in contrasting colors. One can get the Gadwal sari in small, medium and large borders. The golden zari work along the lengths of the borders gives it an exquisite touch. With the growing requirement of Gadwal sarees, the weaving advanced to the looms or textiles and, the designs were all modernized.

Sources of Inspiration

The weaving technique used to design the Gadwal sarees is the interwoven weft technique which was traditionally known as Kupadam and the weaving style for the borders was known as kumbam. These sarees were woven in pure Silk as well and were made available in contrasting colors like lime green or a canary yellow. Most sarees in the present times are Cotton and Silk hybrid. The best part of a Gadwal saree is that it can be folded to match the size of a match box without ruining any part of the saree.

Influence Over the Years

In the beginning, when the weavers began weaving this ancient craft, the designs and colors were adapted from the temples and nature respectively. The earlier Gadwal saris were only available in earth colors with rich designs. Gradually as time passed and commercialization of saris came into existence, there were brighter and better colors made available. With the culture of dyeing, a multitude of colours that cause contrast in these saris is now made available to the buyers. In fact, the designs have also grown beyond the shapes and architecture of the temple. Today, more modern designs are made available.



Gadwal is known for its wide range of designs and borders. The zari work in gold and silver along the borders is the cult that Gadwal sarees have pepped up the fashion ramp. Beyond the regular designs that are adapted from geometry and the temple architecture of Gadwal, initially, there were no designs in these saris. With the passage of time, Gadwal sarees have gained a certain level of modern techniques and colors in its vast array of exquisite sari collection.

Global Influence

The textiles of Gadwal have commercialized their sarees globally. The export of these saris is on a large scale, especially to countries like U.S, U.K, and some parts of Europe. The production has increased tremendously with the help of new machinery and techniques prevalent in various textile industries. One can see that the traditional touch to these sarees is still intact, while the designs have gone up to the level of contemporary.

Wearing Gadwal Saree

One can wear it to a simple party and even a grand wedding. The zari work in silver and golden along with the bright hues in which these saris are available give it a rich and elegant look, something that is not always apparent in a simple cotton sari. Cotton is a material that suits any occasion or environment. With cotton as the base, Gadwal sarees are suitable for both warm and cold climates. With the rich and exquisite look, the sari is good for any kind of occasion.The gold or silver zari border allows one to choose either golden or silver jewellery as accessories to match with. A light neckpiece, bangles, and tika will go perfect with this saree.

Interesting Facts and Comparisons

  • These saris can be folded to the size of a match box.
  • The sico variety is more famous than the regular silk variety of Gadwal.
  • They are good gift options for people living in abroad. People buy in dozens whenever they have to make an abroad trip as they are light weight and easy to carry.
  • This saree forms one of the timeless collections of stylish designer sarees in south India.


Categories:   Textiles